Biking Gaspe (page 4) - CycleBlaze

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Biking Gaspe (page 4)

John SaxbyTo Jacquie Gaudet

Weird stuff weatherwise going down everywhere, Jacquie.  Our son and his family live in the SE corner of Queensland, on the coast & v near the NSW border.  It's rained steadily there since December, and when we arrived 3 weeks ago, everything was a startling green.

I had been looking forward to a solo ride up into the hills of the Gatineau park across the river, but Qué has closed its borders to all non-essential traffic. My only "Ah, well..." is that the roads in the park are usually still blocked by snow on their upper reaches until about the 3rd week of April.  Lotsa handy mantras: "This too shall pass," and one from Nigeria that I like, borrowed from a minibus: "No condition permanent."

Dealing with self-isolation hasn't been so bad--making loadsa soup, tweaking the bikes, catching up on reading, A1 afternoon naps prompted by jetlag.  Unexpected treats popping up from memory are songs like Moustaki's "Ma solitude".  The line I like best is "Je ne suis jamais seul/Avec ma solitude"  Here's the whole thing:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Cheers,  John

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4 months ago
David BabcockTo John Saxby

I did part of Gaspe way back, 91 I think, my first trip with four panniers, a tent etc

The etc was frankly just too much stuff, and suffered mightily on the real bugger climbs along the gaspe.

I know you folks have no choice not to go this summer, but certainly be aware that there some challenging hills. I'll always remember one downhill that was probably the fastest I've ever been on a bike, no bike computer then, but I reckon 90k, which even to someone who had been on motorcycles a lot, it was frighteningly fast. 

Can confirm that the north shore is very very challenging hills wise. I've only ridden there unloaded, but even in car it's darn hilly with some real long heart breakers of climbs. 

Re weather, the river, the st Lawrence, is cold all year around, and makes it much cooler there all summer.

And yes, only ride out towards  seat for prevailing winds. still remember the few poor souls going the other way. 

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2 months ago
John SaxbyTo David Babcock

You're right about the hills, David, for sure.  Before we did our trip, I had a close look at the hills along the route.  I chose to make a clockwise route, and that paid off: we had a couple of 17% downgrades along the N and NE coast, and into Gaspé village from Forillon Natl Park.  We would have had a 24-25% (!!) downgrade into Percé as well, but we decided to bail out of that. Instead we took the truck route bypass, slightly inland. (No trucks on it, as I recall.)

Another advantage of the clockwise route is that you're on the inside (hill/cliff-side) lane of any downhill.  I don't much like being on the exposed edge of mountain roads, especially on downhills, if I don't know the quality/presence of guardrails, the road surface, traffic behaviour, etc., etc. (Too much time spent on roads lacking guard rails, gazing down the hillside/cliffside on upside-down wrecked vehicles...)

The winds do shift -- not much to be done about that.  On our ride westwards along the southern shore, we had a fierce tailwind one day, and an equally fierce headwind the next.

Cheers,  John

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2 months ago